Who Was Wanda Murray? How Did She Die?

Image Credit: Find a Grave/Darryl Caldwell

During the early morning hours one day in March 1978, the authorities learned of a mangled body on the side of a deserted road in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the inquiry initially pointed to a homicide, the autopsy results ultimately painted a different but unfortunate picture. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: My Second Case’ focuses on how the authorities figured out what happened to Wanda Murray. So, if you’re curious about the same, we’ve got you covered.

Who Was Wanda Murray?

Wanda Pearl Murray was a 29-year-old living in Colorado Springs at the time of the incident. She struggled in her life early on, having a baby while in high school and eventually dropping out. As per the show, she was divorced, and the father had custody of the kids — they lived in Texas at the time. Wanda reportedly had drinking issues and exhibited wild mood swings when she consumed alcohol.

At around 2:20 am on March 28, 1978, the authorities questioned a man named Charles Clark after what seemed like an accident on the road in Colorado Springs. As per the show, Charles said he was driving when he momentarily looked away from the road before he felt like he had hit something. The authorities found Wanda on the road with extensive injuries. At the time, Charles was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Initially, the autopsy showed that Wanda’s injuries happened post-mortem, which meant she was already dead by the time Charles ran her over. According to the show, the authorities believed that Wanda was killed somewhere and possibly dumped there in a hurry. Investigation revealed that she spent time at a local bar where there was an altercation that involved her friend, Faye, and Faye’s ex-boyfriend, Kevin Milroy.

While Kevin was questioned, he was ruled out as a suspect. The authorities also checked out Wanda’s ex-boyfriend and cleared him of involvement. Then, the police learned that Wanda went to another bar after the altercation, where she ended up talking to an unidentified man. As per the show, the bartender saw Wanda leaving with that man at around 2 am in his car, about 20 minutes before the call regarding the accident came in. However, just as the authorities seemed to get close to a suspect, toxicology reports turned the case on its head.

How Did Wanda Murray Die?

As per the show, while Wanda was dead before the car ran over her, the manner of death was not homicide; it was natural. According to the test results, Wanda was hypoglycemic at the time of the incident. She had diabetes and didn’t know about it. Wanda’s body couldn’t process the excess alcohol, and the medical examiner believed it could have caused a diabetic coma.

Therefore, the authorities believed that it might have happened while she was in the unidentified man’s car. Wanda stopped breathing suddenly, and the man panicked, leading him to possibly dump the body in haste before driving away. As per the show, the police tried to continue the investigation by hoping to charge the man with the abuse of a corpse. However, limited resources and a low chance of garnering a conviction led to them not pursuing it.

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